Off the beaten track’ is a boast which many restaurants and cafes like to claim, when they are in fact easily reached and situated in villages or towns. The claim makes them seem just that little bit more exclusive, as if it is a secret known only to a few.
One place that can genuinely make this claim is The Hidden Hut, secreted on the beautiful Cornish Roseland Peninsula. It sits on a cliff-top field and is not even visible from the adjacent beach.
It is also a fifteen-minute walk along a stony path between gorse bushes from the small car park, itself off a small country lane.
Off the beaten track indeed.
This property is leased from, though not operated by, the National Trust and since 2010 chef Simon Stallard and his partner Jemma have been creating a quiet storm in culinary terms.
This is no ordinary dining experience. All the meals are freshly prepared daily, the produce is local and the seafood sometimes delivered directly to the beach below by local fishermen.
There is no indoor dining, it is all al fresco and from a stove, grill and oven. Not a deep fat fryer within miles.
The hidden hut is so named because this pre-world war 2 wooden building was designed so as not to be seen from the beach below. Dining is at long benches with tables, looking out to sea.
No bookings are taken for lunches (12pm – 3pm) whilst tea, coffee and scrumptious cakes are served 11am – 5pm.
You can expect home-made steak pasties, sausage rolls, salads, soups and sandwiches and as the weather cools, chowders, and dhals.
Evening Feasts are renowned.
They have attracted foodies and national food writers from across the country, as well as ‘celebrities,’ if their opinions count for anything.
Seafood is of course the star attraction, though beef, lamb and sticky-ribs also feature. On a balmy night these feasts are a magical delight, and what’s more, as there is no phone signal here, you will not be distracted by bleeps and ring-tones.
Dining with like minded people is a joy and the evenings fly by.
It is booking only for these evenings.
Such is chef Simon’s reputation, that he was selected to provide a beach feast for the world leaders at June’s G7 summit at Carbis Bay. This was seen across the world.
The small car park has a different postcode to the Hidden Hut and can be found at TR2 5HR. It should be noted that you need to be relatively nimble of foot to reach the delights that await.
It is well worth the effort to really get ‘off the beaten track’.